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Goneva in running for Aviva Premiership award

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Vereniki Goneva has been named on the shortlist for the Aviva Premiership Rugby Player of the Season award.

The Leicester Tigers wing, who has just agreed a new contract to remain at the club, is included on a six-man shortlist hoping to follow his clubmate Tom Youngs as winner of the national award.
Players of five nationalities, and from six clubs, make up the six-man shortlist revealed this morning.
Goneva is the top try-scorer in Aviva Premiership Rugby this season with 11 to his name so far.
"There were a number of compelling candidates for this prestigious title and it was very difficult to reduce it to a six-man shortlist," said Phil Winstanley, rugby director at Premiership Rugby.
“I think the panel managed to arrive at a very balanced list, forwards and backs side by side.
"We’ve had an incredible season so far and the length of the deliberations for the awards reflects the current standard of Aviva Premiership Rugby. The closeness of the matches is reflected in the fact that no one club has more than one player on the shortlist.”
The shortlist was compiled by a panel of media professionals – Stephen Jones (Sunday Times), Chris Hewett (The Independent), Nick Mullins (BT Sport), Ben Coles (Planet Rugby), Mick Cleary (Daily Telegraph), Jill Douglas (ITV Sport), Duncan Bech (Press Association), Alastair Eykyn (BT Sport) and David Rogers (Getty Images). They were joined by Phil Winstanley (rugby director at Premiership Rugby) and Paul Morgan (Premiership Rugby’s communication director).
The winner will be announced at the Aviva Premiership Rugby Awards at the Hilton, Park Lane on May 15.
Aviva Premiership Rugby player of the Season shortlist:
Dan Braid – Sale Sharks
Mike Brown - Harlequins
Jacques Burger - Saracens
Vereniki Goneva – Leicester Tigers
Samu Manoa – Northampton Saints
Chris Pennell – Worcester Warriors
Tigers hooker Youngs picked up the award last year, following previous Leicester victors Martin Castrogiovanni (2006-07) and Martin Corry (2004-05).
The other shortlists will be announced over the next few days, with awards including Aviva Premiership Community Player of the Season, Land Rover Discovery of the Season, Guinness Director of Rugby of the Season, ITV Sport Try of the Season, BT Sport Aviva Premiership Rugby Dream Team, Gatorade Game Changer of the Season and Green Flag Forward of the Season.